Thursday, January 31, 2013

Volunteer Opportunities with Friends of Deckers Creek

From: Elizabeth Wiles
Sent: Sun, Jan 27, 2013 3:56 pm
Subject: [FODC] Winter/Spring Volunteer Opportunities with Friends of Deckers Creek!

Working to restore the natural qualities of, increase the public concern for and promote the enjoyment of the Deckers Creek Watershed.
We have a lot of opportunities to volunteer this winter and spring to support all the important work of Friends of Deckers Creek.  Please see list below and contact Volunteer Coordinator Hannah Spencer at if you want to get involved.  If you don’t see anything that interests you but you still want to help, let us know your special skills, talents, interests and we’ll find a way to put those to work!
Indoor Work
These jobs can be done at any time so can fit into anyone’s schedule.  Training/assistance is provided for all jobs.
·         Macroinvertebrate Sorter:  Sort through samples of creek insects collected last year for our Clean Creek Program and separate the insects from other debris (leaves, dirt, etc) that inevitably make it into the samples.  Prepare insects to be identified by macroinvertebrate experts.
·         Data Entry:  Enter water quality data collected by our Citizen Scientist monitors into online database.  (2-3 hours required)
·         Graphic Designer:  FODC is updating our general organization and Youth Advisory Board brochures and could use the artistic skills of a graphic designer to assist.
·         Spring Meltdown pre-planning:  Assist with soliciting businesses for live/silent auction donations, event promotion.
Outdoor Work
These often have specific dates and times.  Training/assistance is provided for all jobs.
·         Outdoor Learning Park:  We always have need for volunteers to assist with invasive species removal, maintaining walking trails and general upkeep.
·         Make it Shine West Virginia:  Between April 1 – 14, FODC will participate in this statewide litter cleanup event.  Litter cleanup at various locations in the watershed.
·         Clean Creek Program Quarterly Water Quality Monitoring:  See dates & times listed below.  Hannah will provide more specific details once you’ve signed up or if you have any questions. 
Wed, Jan 30
9a – 12p
Fri, Feb 1
12:30p – 4p
Mon, Feb 4
8a – 12p
Wed, Feb 6
9a – 12p
Fri, Feb 8
12:30p – 4p
Sun, Feb 10
9a – 4p
Wed, Feb 20
8a – 12p
Sat, Feb 23
9a – 4p
Sun, Feb 24
9a – 4p
Fri, March 1
12p – 4p
Thank you!
Friends of Deckers Creek
PO Box 877
Dellslow, WV 26531

Monday, January 28, 2013

Second WinterFest slated for Feb 9 at Coopers Rock

What do a slingshot paintball biathlon, snowshoe tours, a snow obstacle course, a cross-country ski slalom race and a women's frying pan toss all have in common?  They are among the dozen events going on at the second WinterFest at Coopers Rock State Forest.  WinterFest will be from 10am - 4pm Feb 9 and is sponsored by the Coopers Rock Foundation.
This festival will have events for children and adults.  All events are free, but hot chocolate and chili will be offered for sale.  Registration and most of the events will be held close to the front parking lot.  For the most adventurous, there will be guided hikes to the Overlook, plus snowshoe and ski tours.
For more details and a schedule of events, see, or contact Nicole Good, at 304-208-5013 or

Birds of Prey Presentation & Field Trip

Saturday, February 9th Birds of Prey Speaker & Field Trip presented by WV Master Naturalists

            Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 08:30AM to 4:30PM

Rated easy- Join WV Master Naturalists for a presentation and field trip on birds of prey.  This is a great opportunity to learn about these magnificent birds and their importance to the ecosystem and a change to see them in the wild.
Lecture and hike is free of charge and open to members & nonmembers.  Please pre-register with the leader, seating is limited.

            Bring bag lunch (frig & microwave are available)

Location & Address:
Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, 3982 Waverly Road, Williamstown, WV  26187
Contact the Outing Leader for further directions.

Leader: Russ Flowers (cell) 304-482-7919,
Contact Information:
Sierra Club West Virginia
Russ Flowers 304-482-7919

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Forward on Climate chartered bus to Washington, DC

The Sierra Club  and are sponsoring a bus trip to Washington, DC on February 17th (Presidents Day weekend) for the largest climate rally in history. "Forward on Climate" is designed to urge President Obama to take real action on global warming. Join this historic event to make your voice heard and help the president start his second term with strong climate action. There will be a bus leaving from WalMart, I-68 Exit 1 at 7am, returning 7:30pm. The cost is $20 round trip.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rendezvous Reminders

*Leah would like to plan a ladies-only winter backpacking trip for Feb 16/17.  She's thinking about a short hike into the Quebec Run Wild Area which is in PA about 30 minutes north of Morgantown.  If you're at all interested, please email Leah at  so she can include you in a planning meeting.
*Plans are almost final for the Owl Prowl with Doug; details will be sent out soon.
*Don't forget Maxwell's (5:30pm) and the Planetarium shows (7/8pm-reservations at 304-293-4961) this Friday and the Toboggan Festival at Chestnut Ridge on Saturday from 1-4pm.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Upcoming events from the 2012 Monongahela MN class

Upcoming Activities:
*Saturday, Jan 19 from 1-2:30pm at the Core Arboretum:  Join us (this event is sponsored by the Sierra Club) for one of the first official Morgantown “Year of the Tree” events as we take a guided walk through the WVU Arboretum with Jon Weems, director of the arboretum, and talk about the oldest trees there.
 *Friday, Jan 25: Planetarium shows (STARS at 7pm/Stars of the Pharaohs at 8pm).  Please call the Planetarium at 304-293-4961 to make reservations.  We'll be meeting at Maxwell's at 5:30 for supper.
*Saturday, Jan. 26 from 1-4pm at Chestnut Ridge Park:  2013 Toboggan Festival.
*Mountaineer Audubon Birding 101 Class.  All classes begin at 8:00am at Dorsey’s Knob Park Groscup Center.  Register with BOPARC at
·         Feb. 16:  Birding 101 class 1 and Dorsey’s Knob field trip
·         March 16: Birding 101 class 2 and Cheat Lake field trip
·         April 20:  Birding 101 class 3 and Mon River Trail field trip
·         May 18:  Birding 101 class 4 and Core Arboretum field trip
*Spring Break trip to Nicaragua.  Please see the MN Blog for more details (
Upcoming Dates and Times TBA:
*Owl Prowl with Doug at the WVBG
*Mason/Dixon hike

WV Woodland Stewards Winter/Spring Events

This is the every-6-months reminder to check in on the WV Woodland Stewards page.  
Keep on submitting the excellent photos of woodland wonders.
If you see a workshop you'd like to have closer to your neck of the woods, let us know or contact your local extension agent.
We hope to see you soon at an upcoming seminar or workshop!
Visit WV Woodland Stewards at:

(Note to Master Naturalists: This list is open to everyone so sign up.)

Sierra Club tree walk set at Core Arboretum

The Mon Chapter of the Sierra Club is sponsoring a Year of the Tree 2013 walk through WVU's Core Arboretum with its director, Jon Weems, on Saturday.  Participants will learn about the oldest trees in this forest.  The walk will take place no matter the weather, so participants should dress appropriately.  To participate, meet in the Arboretum parking lot at 1pm.  Info: Gwen Jones, or 304-599-5815.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Friends of the Cheat hits the Kingwood-Tunnelton trail

KINGWOOD - Friends of the Cheat received a grant through the West Virginia Division of Highways for $80,000 to purchase the Kingwood-Tunnelton rail-trail.  Amanda Pitzer, executive director of Friends of the Cheat, said the grant was for a recreational trail and was administered through the Federal Highways Administration.  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin presented the grant Monday, in Charleston.
Pitzer said the trail will have to be appraised, and a price negotiated with Kern Valley Railroad,.  The railbed runs from Kingwood to Tunnelton.
The trail has been in the works for several years, Pitzer said.  One sticking point has been ownership - the nonprofit cannot own the trail.  Pitzer said the Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission will be the trail's owner.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Social Hour Black Bear Burritos Jan 17

The Monongahela Chapter of the WV Master Naturalists will be having a social gathering this Thursday at 6:30 in the meeting room at Black Bear Burritos in Suncrest.  Come join us for good food and good conversation.  Rehash the New Year's Day Snake Hill WMA hike.  Discuss the upcoming Spring Break trip to Nicaragua.  Learn about why you should mark your calendar for the West Virginia Master Naturalist Annual Meeting this August.  Hope to see you there!

News flash!  Debby Ludwig will be giving her presentation on the Outdoor Learning Park in Sabraton.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

More Pictures from the New Year's Day Hike

Leah Webster also took several pictures during the First Annual Master Naturalist Get Off on the Right Foot New Year's Day hike.  So for you viewing enjoyment, check out  
The pictures are awesome.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sustainability tech grants available

West Virginia communities interested in advancing their sustainability goals can apply for min-grants through the Sustainability Institute at Bridemont Community and Technical College and the West Virginia Sustainable Communities (WVSC) program.
 A limited number of small grants will be awarded for technical assistance only.  This includes professional services such as architectural/engineering, marketing/branding and meeting facilitation.  Construction, travel, printing, administrative, equipment and overhead expenses are not eligible.
 The WVSC program was launched by the state Department of Environmental Protection in 2006 to send young people from diverse backgrounds to work with rural communities across the state in order to further community-based sustainability efforts.
 Projects should correspond to one or more areas of emphasis such as architectural services to incorporate sustainable design and energy efficiency into an historical building renovation project; hiring a consultant to develop a business plan or feasibility study for a new recycling program; landscape design to incorporate water conservation, native vegetation, and local art into a greenway trail, or community park project; engaging a professional facilitator for a sustainability planning process or to update an existing plan; and, hiring a consultant to develop a "buy local" campaign.
Eligible applicants range from 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations to grassroots organizations working with a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor to local government agencies and quasi-governmental entities.
Applications are due by Jan. 15.  Grants will be awarded in mid-February.  Completed applications must be submitted to
Info: Jamie Lyn Durant, 304-734-6710 or
Durant is available to review and provide feedback on draft proposals submitted prior to Monday.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Master Naturalist 2013 Annual Meeting

SAVE THE DATE for Master Naturalist 2013 Annual Meeting

We would just like to get the word out now since most people expected it to be held in June.

The date for this year’s annual meeting is August 16, 17 and 18

We will have more information ready about the meeting in February.

Joe Morton's pictures from Snake Hill WMA Hike

First Annual Master Naturalist Get the New Year Off on the Right Foot Hike
Twenty one Master Naturalists and one dog braved the cold
White everywhere
Start of the hike
A Toast at Cheat Overlook
Tom, Mike, Sheila and Debby

Carol and companions

Debby, Vince and Buck
Leah, Greg and Sheila
Buck on the trail
Greg the Snow Angel

Debby and Sunnie

If you wish to download the original high resolution image, click on the link below the photo to load it in your default browser.  This may take some time depending on the speed of your internet connection, so be patient.  Once the photo is loaded, you can right click with your mouse anywhere in the image to bring up a contextual menu, then click on "save image as" to save the image to your choice of location on your computer hard drive or attached flash drive.

Snake Hill WMA New Year's Day Hike Report

Debby Ludwig reports:

Twenty one of us met at the Snake Hill Wildlife Management area for our First Annual Master Naturalist Get the New Year Off on the Right Foot Hike.  Snow lay heavy on branches and twigs as we made our way along the trail to the Cheat Gorge overlook.  Once there Sheila surprised us with a little something to toast the New Year.  After the hike Dee invited us all to her home for hot chocolate and cookies.  It was a wonderful way to start 2013!